Religion and Hip Hop: #SessionOneComplexSubjectivity

Welcome back to Sui Generis!

So a few weeks ago, I blogged about Anthony Pinn and Bun B’s Religion and Hip Hop class that’s currently being offered via Rice University.  Well I decided to take the course myself and luck would have it, some of our assignments are to be submitted via social media!  So I thought this would be a great opportunity for you all to share this experience with me.  Hope you enjoy and learn a thing or two…or three 😉

#SessionOneComplexSubjectivity #Reli157x1

What is the difference between the definition we offered in this session (religion as the quest for complex subjectivity) and more traditional ways religion is defined?

While both definitions address the “system of beliefs” (elemental feeling for complex subjectivity) , the more traditional definition of religion seems to focus on “who” it applies to and “what” religion is.  The definition offered in the class seems to add the “why” religion is what it is (accompanying transformation of consciousness that allows for the historically manifest battle against the terror of fixed identity).

How might the four elements of Hip Hop help you make life meaningful? Why?

The four elements of Hip Hop (DeeJaying, Emceeing, Breaking, and Graffiti Art) are all forms of art, in my opinion.  It takes skill as well as creativity to be good at any of these things.  I personally know several DJ’s, MCs, and Graffiti artists and, while I never learned how to break dance, I was a dancer when I was younger and I know from experience that dancing takes a lot of practice and hard work.  The elements of hip hop already help me make life more meaningful as I’ve worked with and supported my fellow DJs in their work and events they put on and DJ’s provide a great source of entertainment.  MCs, in concert with DJs, have been essential at these events as well  (sometimes the DJ and the MC are the same person) whether the event is a local house party, a wedding, or something as huge as the Academy awards show.  MCs, to me, are the bouncing ball on the subtitles.  They guide you through the event and help you to enjoy yourself along the way.  Breaking (dancing) is an expression of self and, for me, dancing is an outlet, a stress reliever, an expressive tool that provides a workout as well as a “canvas” (of sorts) to freely express myself.  Graffiti artists are amazing to me.  While I am no professional, a have always liked to draw and have always thought graffiti artists were able to make some amazing works of art.  Drawing is another self-expressive outlet.  It broke my heart to see Five Points in NY get painted over.  Long story-short, Hip Hop is art.  And art means something different to everyone.  You can personalize it and THAT’s what makes it meaningful…to me, anyway.

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